A Poem by Emily Rose

This is a little something dark and sad that I wrote for a contest. It's not my best and I tried very, very hard to not make it rhyme, but sometimes it slipped out. Also, yes, I did steal the names from two different Shakespeare plays.


In the verdant forest dark and drear

where the deadly nightshade grows

and the ivy weaves poisonous tendrils over the boughs,

dark boughs of the towering trees,

I await my love, sweet Claudio, he with the fluttering hands

and the deep, loving eyes.

Silence above all silence chokes the babbling brook,

the whistling wind, this eerie stillness broken

by my trembling, tremoring heart.

O fear! What if he does not come,

ravaged by wolves or trapped by fairy-kind or hags?

Come quickly, love! I weep; I beat my breast

in pained anticipation!


“Fair lady, why do you weep?”

A voice above me whispers, soft but powerful,

gentle and somehow mystical.

Pricking up my raven head, I answer shy and still afeared,

“I wait for my love Claudio, I wait, but he has not come,

and I am frightened by the forest.

I have heard that fairies meet with ladies in the woods,

and tempt them with a kiss and the promise of wings

 to following the wicked beasts

back to the fairy circle, where the captured ladies

dance and sing and are the slaves to the fairy prince and king!”


“Oh kind lady, do not fear!” The stranger smiles impishly,

“For I do not have wings to tempt you by.

If fairies come, (and I know how they look) I shall protect you.

Smile, lady! Then, I’m sure, you shall be thrice as fair!”

He is regal, tall but willowy, with hair as gold as ripened corn

and vast, enchanted eyes so green the forest pales in comparison.

He pats my head and dances whimsically upon a nearby stump,

throwing up his long, thin legs and pirouetting rapidly.

“Forget your troubles, dance with me!” He cries wantonly.

Soon we spin through the nearer trees,

laughing gaily, and I clap my hands in ecstasy.


A coy smile spreads across his lips, and thus he speaks again:

“I am Iago, just a simple peasant boy

who lives within the woods. Shall I entertain you more

as we wait for your love, Claudio?”
“Yes, Iago! Oh, I thank you for your kindness.”

“The pleasure lady, all is mine. Listen! I shall sing.”

With a voice as clear and lovely as song of larks,

did sweet Iago sing. Enthralled by his spellbinding song

I listen, awed, and soon my head does lightly rest

upon his perfect shoulder, and my raven hair he strokes

with his delightful hands.


“Away my lady, we must go!” He whispers in my ear.

“For I am not a peasant boy, but a gentle prince!

And ah, but you are fair and light, so you must be my queen!”

“Dear Claudio…” I whisper, gazing in Iago’s eyes,

those green, poisonous spheres that trap my glance.

“He is not here, but I am in his place.” Iago croons; his pale fingers

touch my blushing cheek and brush upon my lips.

“Now would you be my queen? A single kiss will seal the covenant.”

Those eyes, that voice, those lips so soft and rare,

so bewitched by that intoxicating song,

 I cannot resist accepting his amorous kiss.


“Now, frightened child, you are mine.” The voice above me laughs with pride;

I glimpse a pair of wind-wrought wings unfolding from Iago’s back,

as we climb into the air, drifting toward the fairy circle,

the fairy prince cackles lightly in my ear:

“Your love would never come for you, fine lady so deceived!

I saw him in the verdant wood, stumbling among the foliage,

and as a peasant boy I came disguised and asked for what he looked.

He said he sought his love, who waited for him in the wood,

and since the fairy circle needs young ladies for to dance and sing

as fools to coax laughter from me, the court and the fairy king,

I slew your lover Claudio and deftly hid my wings. He lies dead

among the stones, entwined by the poisonous ivy.”


In the verdant forest dark and drear

where the deadly nightshade grows

and the ivy weaves poisonous tendrils over the boughs,

dark boughs of the towering trees,

lies my love, sweet Claudio, he with the still, icy hands

and the closed, darkened eyes.

And I, far away, dance and sing for the fairy king,

and weep and mourn without end.


© 2008 Emily Rose

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Fabulous fairy story...I love it!

Posted 15 Years Ago

Congrats on your great winning poem

Posted 15 Years Ago

like a dark fairytale... beautiful imagery.

Posted 15 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Very whimsical and lovely....I say, a dearly appreciated piece indeed.

Posted 15 Years Ago

A treat, indeed. Beautifully wrought and one of those pieces that seem to come together in a way which demands neither rhyme nor scansion but just feels right, yet are certainly not simple prose. How does one define them? I don't know - and right now I don't care. This one is a delight to read, fits together a treat and the theorising can come later. You have achieved in me this delight and - sorry - I'm not by nature the fairy story type, so it surely is good. Certainly no happy ending though. Poor Claudio.

' . . . . vast, enchanted eyes so green the forest pales in comparison.' and '. . . .I whisper, gazing in Iago's eyes, those green, poisonous spheres that trap my glance.'

Splendid piece of comparison, cleverly introducing the point of change - as if we hadn't guessed! And now, - I'll polish my wand and carefully repack my wings, flick back my golden locks and away to the woods chasing further maidens.

Posted 15 Years Ago

Your poetry is so classical in nature I can't help but read it over again. You are a magician with your imagery.

Posted 15 Years Ago

A very fantastical piece, full of description and magic. I love how the story goes forward and yet the words still rhyme! It was very enchanting, and I could not not finish it. A pity for Claudio though... to die even before he could meet up with the fearful and naive lady.

Posted 15 Years Ago

This has a classical quality to it - like a Grimm's tale I find very appealing. Bravo. This is beautifully written.

Posted 15 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I liked how you used nature and mixed it with darkness! I like a lot poems that have to do with nature and darkness!

Posted 15 Years Ago

I had a feeling about that Iago, I did!
Wonderfully wrought, my dear!
It is a piece of which to be most proud!

-I usually try not to worry about the rhyme very much and just let the words flow naturally. Nonetheless, this piece has excellent flow!-


Posted 15 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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17 Reviews
Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on June 13, 2008
Last Updated on July 21, 2008


Emily Rose
Emily Rose

Mansfield, PA

Hey everyone! I'm back for the summer, so hopefully I'll be able to get back into my normal reviewing habits! I'm going to try to return reviews to people who review my work, and you can always se.. more..

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